Tagged With remote computing

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My job lives entirely online. Everything I do eventually ends up on this website. But it's not that simple -- behind the scenes, there's a lot going on that has to run smoothly and work correctly to make my job easy and streamlined. At the very least, I need a fast internet connection, and I need it to work all the time. Fast, reliable 4G has changed the way that I work, including in the way that I collaborate with my team, and the way that we run our business through the net. These are the tools I use most.

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You may have heard that we've teamed up with VMware to find one Lifehacker reader to become our ‘IT Survivor’ blogger -- and write for us from Queensland's tropical Magnetic Island! It's an amazing competition (enter here), and in this post we’ve got more to give away -- two Dell Chromebook 11s! To enter, simply tell us what remote work challenges you’d like to see our ‘IT Survivor’ try on the island. Easy!

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Windows/Mac/Linux: If you're interested in the idea of cloud computing and remote access to your files but are a bit paranoid about putting your data on some third party server, Tonido is a great compromise.

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We've already shown you how to shutdown Windows via SMS with Outlook and how to do the same on a Mac using Mail.app, but a user on the Hak5 forums demonstrates how to setup a similar SMS shutdown using the venerable Thunderbird email client. The method requires the Mailbox Alert extension and a little configuration, but once you're done you can save some power with a quick text message next time you forget to shutdown your computer. The tutorial is Windows-specific, but I'm guessing you could mesh the Mail.app method with this one and accomplish the same thing for OS X.

Remote Shutdown Via SMS

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You're at a friends house, extolling the virtues of your latest TV obsession or music kick, and you can't wait to get them into it as well. Usually, this conversation ends with a promise of burned CDs—but why not offer them what you've already grabbed from BitTorrent, or give them a user name and password to get what you're about to start downloading? TorrentFlux, a free, open-source, server-based BitTorrent manager, can do all those things. If you've got a Windows or Linux computer you keep on most of the time, a home server, or even hosted space, you can take control of your downloads. Follow through the jump for a tutorial on getting started with TorrentFlux.

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The Murphy Mac weblog steps through how to retrieve any file on your Mac using a simple AppleScript in conjunction with Mail.app. When you've finished configuring the script, you can send an email to your home computer with a keyword subject and the full path to the file you forgot—say your homework or that big Keynote presentation—and the script will automatically email the file to you. Of course there are tonnes of other ways you could go about accessing your home files remotely, but Murphy Mac's slick solution is a good option to add to the list.

Retrieve a Remote File - by Email

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You want access to your home computer wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whether that's via a remote desktop connection, SSH, FTP, web interface, or any other remote access you've set up. The catch is, you don't like throwing money away to an always-on system. Luckily you can have your digital cake and eat it, too, and today I'll show you how to boot and shut down your system remotely so that it's ready for you when you need it and it's not wasting energy when you don't.

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A free Mac version of remote PC access software LogMeIn has just been released. LogMeIn Free for Mac can be downloaded here. You'll need to create a (free) account. Once installed on your Mac, the software will let you connect  to and control your Mac from a browser via a Windows, Mac or Linux PC as well as the Apple iPhone and other handheld devices.LogMeIn Free for Mac runs on OS X v10.4 (Tiger) and v10.5 (Leopard).I haven't tried out the Mac version of LogMeIn, but we previously reviewed LogMeIn for Windows here and told you how to use LogMeIn to provide remote tech support here.

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Tech site the How-To Geek runs down how to remote control a PC using previously posted CrossLoop, free Windows software that makes VNC dead easy. Like Leopard Screen Sharing, CrossLoop puts a friendly front-end on VNC—as well as an encrypted connection between PC's—for easy remote computing. With CrossLoop there has to be someone on the other end to accept the connection, so it's best for tech support (versus controlling a headless PC, for example.) For more on getting your hands dirty with VNC, see how to remote control your home Mac or PC with VNC.

Remotely Control Somebody's Desktop the Easy Way

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Mac OS 10.5 only: With VNC built right into Leopard, you can remote control your Mac from any other Mac via iChat or the Screen Sharing client—OR any PC using the right VNC client. Apple doesn't advertise this, but since Screen Sharing is just regular old VNC (albeit with a much more grokable name), our favourite Windows VNC client, TightVNC, works with it just dandy—with one small catch.

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Windows/Mac: Freeware application Yuuguu provides instant remote screen sharing through a simple IM-like application. Just install Yuuguu on the computers you'd like to share screens, and then register and login to the Yuuguu chat application. If you decide you want to do a little screen sharing—perfect for friends and family tech support or a little project collaboration—just click "Show" and let the screen sharing begin. The user you're chatting with can either observe your screen or take control of the keyboard and mouse. Of course, there's no shortage of screen sharing apps like Yuuguu out there (like CrossLoop, ShowMyPC, LogMeIn, and of course VNC), Yuuguu's simple cross platform support is a bit of a gem.

Yuuguu

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Windows only: Connect to and remotely control your Windows desktop from your Windows Mobile smartphone with the Windows Mobile 6 Remote Desktop client. The newest version of Mobile Remote Desktop boasts fullscreen control, 16 bit graphics, and full-on sound transfer (similar to the full-on Remote Desktop client for Windows). According to the Inspect My Gadget weblog, the new client could actually stream video with sound over a LAN (though Orb is the better video streamer for practical situations). The WM6 Remote Desktop client is free to download, works on either Windows Mobile 5 or 6 (several WM6 vendors did not include the new Remote Desktop). Our WM phone is in the shop, so if you give it a try, let us know how it works for you in the comments.

WM6_RDP (Mobile Remote Desktop Client)